The Stormers aren’t firing at 100 percent yet, but if they manage to hit a higher gear, their last season at Newlands just might be one of their best in recent years. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
The Stormers aren’t firing at 100 percent yet, but if they manage to hit a higher gear, their last season at Newlands just might be one of their best in recent years. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

OPINION: Imagine if the Stormers could fire at 100%

By wynona louw Time of article published Feb 19, 2020

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The Stormers aren’t firing at 100 percent yet, but if they manage to hit a higher gear, their last season at Newlands just might be one of their best in recent years.

Head coach John Dobson yesterday again touched on this point while discussing their last-minute Super Rugby victory against the Lions over the weekend, saying that upon review of the Ellis Park clash, the Stormers “looked even worse” than what he had initially thought.

After the away fixture, he also added that they “haven’t been operating at half their capacity”.

It wasn’t a great game from the Stormers.

They let a number of opportunities slip, there were just too many handling errors and their backline looked rather one-dimensional, especially earlier on. Basically, away from the scrum, they were far from their best, and until the 78th or so minute, they looked well on their way to losing the Johannesburg encounter.

Are they really going to throw the game like this?

The Stormers being put through their paces as they train ahead of their clash against the Jaguares this weekend. Video: Wynona Louw/IOL Sport

You just couldn’t help but think that.

But then came that try, Ruhan Nel’s score that snatched the game away from the Lions, ending the game and allowing the Stormers to register their first win at Ellis Park since 2015.

That piece of play, that result, ultimately, does say a lot about the team’s character and belief.

And if you consider what assistant coach Dawie Snyman said at the start of the season (that they want to be able to close out those big games in the last 10 minutes), the way in which the Stormers won the game would have been a pleasing addition, especially considering how they have struggled with that in the past.

And that’s not a bad thing, but as Dobson said yesterday, they don’t want it to have to come to that.

In their first two games of 2020, the Stormers kept both the Hurricanes and the Bulls scoreless, and the second one of those performances was far from a perfect one.

The Stormers are well into their preparations for their game against the Jaguares on Saturday. Video: Wynona Louw/IOL Sport

They want to attack more, they’ve made that clear, and the fact that they’ve been able to get the job done while not even being at their best says a lot.

There’s something special about this Stormers team, something that makes you dare to belief that this really could be their year.

Until now, their pack has been a major factor in the three wins they have registered.

The Stormers’ defence has been the other main contributor. That defence has been key in helping them become the only Super Rugby team to keep the opposition scoreless for two consecutive weeks.

But just imagine what they could do if they go higher and if that backline starts operating smoother as well? Imagine that.

Dobson has highlighted his desire to bring the back three into the game more, he has spoken a lot about how he wants his team to play more rugby.

This weekend’s game against the Jaguares will be a true test for the Stormers, and not just for South African conference dominance.

So far it has been going well. There have certainly been errors and missed opportunities, yet they have still been getting the results.

So imagine how dangerous the Stormers can be if they manage to fire at 100 percent?

@WynonaLouw


Cape Times

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